Yankees fans, hearing “Enter Sandman” by Metallica, no matter where you are, brings you down memory lane, does it not? Conjuring, right now, in your mind’s eye: Mariano Rivera, the greatest closing pitcher of all time, trotting to the mound from the bullpen. Did you know he did not even choose that song? In his book, The Closer, Mariano explains:
Ever since we played the San Diego Padres in the 1998 World Series and the Yankees management noticed how [their] fans got fired up by Trevor [Hoffman]’s entrance song ‘Hell’s Bells’ by AC/DC, they decided I needed a dramatic musical introduction, too…. One day, an operations worker named Mike Luzzi decides what I need is something cool and ominous. He brings his own CD to the Stadium and cues up ‘Enter Sandman’ by Metallica. The fans love it. The search is over. If they had asked me, I would probably have suggested ‘Onward, Christian Soldiers’. But I am not consulted and don’t need to be. If the fans like it, let’s go with it (146).
Entrance and walk up songs are so important, they sometimes define a player’s career. In March, Aaron Hicks, clearly feeling the pressure to choose a statement song, even took to Twitter to ask fans for their suggestions.
Any good ideas for a walkout song!!! I like old songs.
— Aaron Hicks (@AaronHicks31) March 12, 2016
The response was enormous: Hicks was bombarded with hundreds of tweets, ranging from “Aaron’s Party” by Aaron Carter (brother of Backstreet Boy Nick Carter), to “Hello” by Adele, to “No diggity” by Blackstreet. Clearly, the selection (and idea generation) should be left to the athletes, themselves. Below, you will find the entrance and/or walk-up songs for 11 of the 2016 New York Yankees:
- Jacoby Ellsbury – “Gettin’ It” by Too $hort
- Brett Gardner – “Huntin’, Fishin’, and Lovin’ Everyday” by Luke Bryan
- Alex Rodriguez – “Run This Town” by Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Kanye West
- Brian McCann – “Till I Collapse” by Eminem
- Mark Teixeira – “Black or White” Michael Jackson
- Carlos Beltran – “Timbalero” by El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico
- Chase Headley – “Surrender” by Third Day
- Starlin Castro – “Calentate Girl” by Shelow Shaq
- Didi Gregorius – “Notorious B.I.G.” by Notorious B.I.G.
- Andrew Miller – “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” by Johnny Cash
- Masahiro Tanaka – “My Dear Fellow” by Japanese girl group Momoiro Clover Z
Of this list, my personal favorite is South Carolinian Brett Gardner’s Luke Bryan selection. Fans in New York can always count on Gardner to bring them the hottest in country music. Brian McCann, who is also known for his outstanding country selections (last season, he had Eric Church’s “Home Boy”), has done a complete 180 and has selected an Eminem classic (Track #18 on 2002’s The Eminem Show). Also noted: Alex Rodriguez decided to stick with a familiar artist in Jay-Z; it will remain to be seen if, in fact, he runs New York this season.
Never fear Yankee fans, Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” will be on rotation after victories. Now that’s a tune of which all of Yankee Universe can agree they would like to hear… often.